Legal Analysis: Highlights from January 2023

Mb January 2023 Newsletter | Estate Attorneys | Myatt & Bell

In This Edition:

  • Greetings from Myatt & Bell President, Justin Martin
  • What’s new? 2023 Estate & Gift Tax Updates
  • Get to Know Our Team
  • Recipe Spotlight
  • Complimentary Estate Planning Webinar

Happy New Year, M&B Family!

The Internal Revenue Service recently released the annual inflation adjustments for tax year 2023, which include welcome increases for wealth transfer tax planning.

Gifting can help you reduce estate taxes while providing your beneficiaries with immediate use and enjoyment of transferred assets. Gifts can also be used to facilitate financial aptitudes of beneficiaries and foster a generational family purpose. Although the annual gift tax exclusion is one way to do so, it remains prudent to double check with legal counsel beforehand to ensure there aren’t any unforeseen pitfalls in your gifting initiatives, as well as to maximize the gift opportunities.

In the meantime, please read the enclosed article for more information about this year’s tax adjustments and what it may mean for you.

Very Sincerely,
Justin R. Martin
President, Myatt & Bell, P.C.

What’s new? Estate & Gift Tax Adjustments, 2023

By Andrew D. Ginis, Attorney and LL.M. in Taxation

The IRS recently released 2023 inflation adjusted estate tax and gift amounts.

The 2023 annual gift tax exclusion increased to $17,000 per beneficiary (the 2022 exclusion was $16,000). This exclusion is the amount that can be given to each beneficiary before the gift needs to be reported on Form 709 – United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.

Annual exclusion gifts can be a good way to transfer wealth over time with minimal costs and no use of a person’s lifetime estate and gift tax exemption. For example, a married couple can each gift $17,000 to each of their children and grandchildren this year. That adds up to $136,000 for a couple with two children and two grandchildren (2 spouses x 2 children x 2 grandchildren x $17,000)! As mentioned in M&B Monthly October 2022 issue, Oregon has no gift tax and federal gift tax is due only after a person’s lifetime estate and gift tax exemption is used.

The 2023 lifetime estate and gift tax exemption increased to $12.92 million per person (the 2022 exemption was $12.06 million). This exemption is the amount (including previously taxable gifts) that is exempt from estate tax at person’s death. As mentioned in the October 2022 issue, the lifetime estate and gift tax exemption is expected to decrease significantly in 2026, making now a great time to use your increased lifetime exemption before it’s gone!

Congress also recently made changes to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, aka “SECURE 2.0”.

SECURE 2.0 highlights include:

  • Raising the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) age to 73 for those born 1951-1959 and 75 for those born 1960 or later,
  • Permitting limited transfer of unused 529 funds to the beneficiary’s Roth IRA,
  • Eliminating RMD’s for employer-sponsored ROTH 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) plans,
  • Increasing catch-up contribution limits and indexing for inflation, Creating new account types including Starter 401(k)’s and SEP/SIMPLE Roth IRA’s,
  • Permitting employers to make matching contributions to ROTH accounts,
  • Reducing the penalties for missed RMDs,
  • Allowing student loan borrowers to receive employer contributions even when they don’t make matching employee contributions, Additional options for surviving spouses, and
  • Indexing Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD’s) amounts for inflation.

Note that some of these changes are not effective until 2024 or later.

If you would like to talk about the impact of these changes and the new planning opportunities they present, please reach out to us!

Finding Help

Myatt & Bell, P.C. has decades of experience assisting clients in creating estate plans.

Our team of attorneys will answer your estate planning questions and identify some techniques that may be available to lower your tax obligations, including two common tools to control and access assets that have already been gifted (IDGT & SLAT).

Jennifer Jackson, Director of Operations

If you were “read like a book,” what would your book look like?

It would probably be soft cover because I am adaptable, laid back, and often go with the flow. I’m highly malleable in different situations.

My book would have a table of contents in the front, a table of contents at the start of each chapter, and a checklist at the chapter’s end! That way, I could easily check off boxes after accomplishing tasks, learning lessons, and completing various chapters.

Finally, my book would have a lot of beautiful colors and artwork to express my creative side.

What is your favorite thing to do for vacation?

My husband and I LOVE cruising anywhere tropical. We love that we can see more than just one place we’ve never seen before.

We love that there is a ton of things to do during a cruise and its destination stops, but also appreciate the convenient permission to do nothing. What’s more, we love all the food choices and experiences afforded by travel. We love sitting on beaches, taking in the variety of blues and teals of the ocean, laughing, and simply enjoying each other’s company.

Something many people don’t know about you?

My biological father is 100% Sicilian and descends from a long family lineage of Sicilians. I am the first of the line to be born without a Sicilian mother. Because of my heritage, it has been a life-long dream to go to Sicily and see the culture my ancestors are from. I plan to do so in 2025, God willing.


Jennifer’s Low-Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup


  • 1 lb. Jimmy Dean hot sausage (If you like meaty soup, you can add another 1lb of meat. Just note that this may increase the amount of broth you need, depending on how thick you like your soup.)
  • 4 slices of bacon (I personally do not add bacon but my original recipe calls for it, so this is an optional ingredient.)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Cups fresh spinach (or more if you like)
  • Salt (optional – with spicy sausage usually not necessary)
  • Pepper (optional to taste)
  • Crushed red peppers (optional to taste)
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • 4 slices of crispy cooked bacon (I personally do not add bacon but my original recipe calls for it, so this is an optional ingredient.)


  • In large soup pot, cook sausage until almost fully cooked
  • Add onion, broth, garlic, cauliflower and bring to a boil (stirring occasionally)
  • Once reaches boil, reduce heat and simmer on low until the cauliflower is cooked thoroughly
  • Add salt, pepper, crushed red peppers to taste
  • Add spinach and heavy whipping cream
  • Serve with shredded parmesan on top
  • If you like bacon you can also add bacon to the top or add to soup when you add spinach


Estate Planning & Peace of Mind

Have you found yourself making excuses for why not to get your estate in order? Maybe you’re convinced that you really don’t need estate planning. If you have assets and loved ones, you need an estate plan. Having an estate plan that is right for you ensures your loved ones are taken care of and that the transition is as easy as possible.

Attend one of our complimentary estate planning webinars and see for yourself. Having your estate plan prepared and understanding the why’s behind the importance of estate planning can bring you the peace of mind you have been needing. Join us at our next Estate Planning Informational Webinar by clicking here.

From Our Clients

“We always get great service, all of our questions answered. The staff are polite courteous attentive and pleasant. Most importantly, their fees are very reasonable and we never go away feeling like we got gouged. We always recommend this firm to friends when they are seeking good counsel and estate planning needs.” – Linda D.

“We have never been anything other than delighted with the professionalism, customer service, expertise and engaging culture of this estate planning legal practice. Check out their website for a calendar of regularly presented online introductions to estate planning basics. I’ve participated in these webinar a couple of times since I understood more every time I listened in.” – Sandy N.

Families choose Myatt & Bell to design their estate plans with honest optimism and meticulous attention to detail.

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And, if you run into someone who needs help with a will or trust, please tell them about Myatt & Bell. Thank you!

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